Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Have Hollywood Celebs Taken Over the Perfume Industry?

via atrl.net/forums

Thus questions Sarah Reiney in an interesting (if not totally accurate in its finer points*) article in the Telegraph. "Forget bottling Hollywood glamour; this is capitalism in a bottle". So true, Sarah! She goes on to highlight why there is a change in the scenery with more "haute" launches or endorsements by more A-listers than previously. Plus a darling quote by Vanessa Musson. Good going!

If you want to check out some celebrity fragrances history (so as to realize that the phenomenon isn't that recent), please refer to my article linked.

*Fact checking: Fracas wasn't inspired by "Gilda" but by Edwige Feuillère, to whom the (dykey) perfumer Germaine Cellier dedicated it as a love plea. L'interdit was reserved for Audrey's use for only one year (plus her prime favorite was reportedly Le De by Givenchy, also created for and inspired by her.) And last but not least, and we're splitting hairs here, the first "celebrity" perfume has to be the Guerlain Eau de Cologne Impériale for empress Eugenie, the fashion plate of her times.


  1. Anonymous11:45

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  2. I think that these so called celebrities have taken over the mainstream perfume market. Lady Gaga, Madonna, Justin Beiber, Nichole Riche have come out with perfume. It doesn't surprise me is that most of them smell alike, the same old rotting fruit smell with flowers on top. It's all about making more money!

  3. Miss Heliotrope00:09

    It is always funny how wrong most newspaper articles are on anything one knows about - I end up worrying about what they tell me when I am ignorant on the subject...

    Re celebrity perfumes: obviously they make money, or they wouldnt happen. It is funny when people's snobbery is so clear.

    There is also the demonstration of what people think of perfume - how seriously you take making a good scent & keeping it available, or just making more money out of a fan base. But bc celebrities are so of the moment, that "their" perfumes are also what is currently popular makes sense, but contributes to their short lives.

  4. Anonymous01:03

    Yes, I have bought a few of these and I never like them they smell alike.

  5. "Actress Tilda Swinton was the muse for Like This, the latest “celubuscent” from French fragrance line, Etat Libre d’Orange, which is said to smell like freshly baked pumpkin pie."

    I think Justin Bond would also qualify as a celebrity, in some circles anyway. Even if Justin Bond weren't a celebrity, the fragrance was supposedly inspired by Nijinsky. #afternoonofafaun

    Aside from that, I'm pretty sure Sex Pistols and Josephine Baker were technically released after Like This.

  6. You're very kind! : - )

  7. Eld,

    I'm coming back to that old quote that "people are so desperate to be told what to do that they'll listen to anyone". The mainstream is especially loaded with the burden of answering to accountant teams and marketing research that should be met.

    I guess even the niche sector is having its own celebrities however. In this case perfumers, art directors etc. People need to be told what to like. It's ever present, there's no escaping!

  8. C,

    it's true that most journalists are lazy and they often misquote as well (and I can bring on the example of an accomplished author who has been misconstrued and misquoted on a number of occasions for which he received flak, not the journalist).

    Having said that, I thought this was an interesting and rather good article! (if not too deep, but that was not the intention or scope) The "errors" were really very minimal. They did not detract from the gist of the article.

    You do have a point that when one is ignorant about a subject they tend to believe everything they're been served ....ooops, told, I guess. ;-)

    Celebrity perfumes would be perfectly acceptable without the celebrity in any designer brand, since they're more or less the same level of quality nowadays IMHO, but they need to tap to a different demographic and different aspirations (fan club teens, people shopping at the drugstore, tv-channel shopping etc). It's more a deviation of scope than of quality.
    As you wisely point out, exactly because the momentum of celebrities is so short (with few exceptions) the churning out of so much juice is so quickly paced. It makes for a fascinating historical curve in pop culture, I can tell you that!

  9. Barbara,

    sameness is never a good indication of longevity or repeat sales. It makes things be more easily accepted on that first spray though, and it seems that's all they're interested in: first batch sales. If they sell out in the first month, so much the better.

  10. Blauriche,

    I believe that the Swinton fragrance was prior to the Nijinsky one (I haven't even tried this, it was a release of this very autumn, am I wrong?)
    The other two as you correctly point out were released later on.

    Honestly, this was a much more straightforward and honest to goodness article than many others I see appearing on the general press regarding scent. The author didn't feel condescending to her public, neither did she reference the Guide as the be all, end all of criticism serving as justifying her own parroting views.

  11. vanessa,

    I'm just acknowledging good, honest people, that's all :-)


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